What should be in the next school levy? Have your say, here

Seattle Public Schools just announced 3 community meetings, including one in West Seattle – 6:30 pm September 24th at Madison Middle School – to talk about what should be on the 2010 ballot. Here’s the announcement (including how to comment if you CAN’T go):

Upcoming Community Meetings for 2010 Levies

Seattle Public Schools is committed to providing an excellent education for every student and we are dedicated to preparing every student to graduate from high school ready for college, careers and life. The District’s strategic plan, Excellence for All, focuses on raising student achievement by ensuring excellence in every classroom, strengthening leadership throughout the district and building an infrastructure that works well.

As part of Seattle Public Schools’ engagement process, the community is invited to three meetings designed to share information about two important upcoming levies which will be placed before the voters as a special election on February 9, 2010:

The Operations Levy, which renews every three years, represents nearly 25% of Seattle Public Schools’ annual general fund budget and supports basic educational programs not fully funded by the state.

The Buildings, Technology and Academics III (BTA III) Capital Levy is placed before the voters every six years and funds hundreds of small renovations and major maintenance projects, technology and academic initiatives.

The purpose of the community meetings is to inform the public, present information and answer questions. Interpreters will be at the meetings for the following languages: Amharic, Cambodian, Chinese, Oromo, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tigrigna and Vietnamese.

Tuesday, Sept. 22
6:30-8 pm
Mercer Middle School
1600 S. Columbian Way

Thursday, Sept. 24
6:30-8 pm
Madison Middle School
3429 45th SW

Monday, Sept. 28
6:30-8 pm
Eckstein Middle School
3003 NE 75th Street

For more details, visit www.seattleschools.org and select “Levies 2010.” Comments may be emailed to 2010levies@seattleschools.org or mailed to Levies 2010, Seattle Public Schools, M.S. 22-336, P.O. Box 34165, Seattle, WA, 98124-1165.

6 Replies to "What should be in the next school levy? Have your say, here"

  • Alvis September 10, 2009 (9:20 pm)

    I advocate for school district leaders to learn some basic punctuation and proofreading skills before they issue text-format announcements. Jeez, you’d think some of them would know enough to use commas between the three school names and to include a street address for Madison Middle School.
    Even if I weren’t an anal-retentive former proofreader, I’d consider those typos an insult to public school parents and students in Seattle.

  • Richard September 11, 2009 (11:25 am)


    3429 45th SW is the address for Madison. I agree it is hard to pick out of the mish-mash that resulted when WSB converted the PDF format that the school district posted (at http://www.seattleschools.org/area/news/0910/levy_community_meetings_news_release.pdf). I don’t think it is a reflection on those district leaders, though. I hope you will be able to make it to the meeting on September 24 to help them make good choices for our students!

  • WSB September 11, 2009 (11:33 am)

    Hi – what mishmash? They send us news releases because we are a media organization. Direct to mail. This is cut and paste from a Word doc, minutes after they sent it. I am hopeful that all you mean by “mishmash” is that I failed to put in some hard returns between the school names. Doing that now – TR

  • WSB September 11, 2009 (11:35 am)

    By the way, I see what happened:
    The district’s Word formatting looked just fine in our content-management system’s edit screen, with the three schools side by side.
    But when published, they lumped together.
    My bad for not looking at it postpublishing. Sorry to have not noticed Alvis’s comment till Richard’s came in … I also will put the Madison link in the first line of our intro … TR

  • Leroniusmonkfish September 12, 2009 (6:49 am)

    No worries TR…I would still give you a “B” for your efforts. :)

  • westello September 12, 2009 (11:56 am)

    First, it’s your chance to give input on what is already on the list. If it’s not there, it won’t be added.

    Second, I write for the Save Seattle Schools blog (saveseattleschools.blogspot.com) and if you want to clearly understand this issue before you go, hop over there. But I’ll try to articulate the problem in a shorter manner.

    The problem is that this district is drowning in backlogged maintenance (over $450M). There are several reasons for this (a levy that failed multiple times in the ’90s is one that the district points to) but the main one is that the district made a decision to not keep up on basic maintenance. The spend less than 1% of the General Fund on over 100+ buildings.

    The district, in its wisdom, did not close the worst buildings (at least in the first round) and so we have a lot of buildings in poor condition. Plus we have maintenance left and right in most others.

    This is the district’s fault and no one else’s. They chose to make these decisions.

    They now want to come to taxpayers and ask for between $210-$300M (up from the last BTA levy of $178M) to do repairs. This, of course, needs to happen.

    But what needs to happen FIRST, is that we all tell the Superintendent and the Board that we need to see real and visible changes in the management of Facilities. We need to get rid of people who got us in this position and who continue to do so. We need to tell the Superintendent and the Board that we will NOT vote the BTA in without assurances of better oversight.

    Look folks, I know you can say, it’s water under the bridge but honestly, unless you hold their feet to the fire (and the only way you can with the Board is voting), when do you think it will get better?

    Oh and there is a line item in the BTA for over $36M to reopen 5-6 schools because of overcrowding in the north end. So that means schools that have been waiting for maintenance will wait longer because they have to spend millions to reopen closed schools.

    We just closed schools, remember?

    Does this sound like good management?

    Go to the meeting and ask for better and make sure you get it in writing.

Sorry, comment time is over.